Real Talk: Pregnancy Nausea

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Let’s talk pregnancy nausea. I don’t mean “morning sickness”, or the occasional upset tummy or gagging. I mean full blown, all-day/all-night PREGNANCY NAUSEA. With puking.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I had the all-day queasies the entire first trimester, a bit early in the second, and here and there in the third. But I expected that. I was pregnant with twins, my HCG levels were high, as were all of my other hormones. I was prepared for “double symptoms”. And after months and months of fertility drugs, I handled those symptoms like a boss.

But this second time around seems so much worse. The nausea is more intense, my super pregnancy smell is more intense (I can’t even open the fridge without gagging), the food aversions are more intense, and the barfing is more intense. Since week six I have thrown up almost every single day, usually multiple times. To the ladies out there with HG – God bless you, I don’t know how you do it. Chasing two toddlers around also doesn’t help. Nor does changing their poopy diapers. The nausea is with me, ALWAYS.

Also, husbands don’t really get it. It seriously is debilitating!! I try to explain it to Nick like this: Imagine having a hangover that lasts for weeks, but not getting to enjoy the fun part that gives you the hangover. I think that resonates a bit more. Thankfully he has really stepped up and been taking on a lot of the tasks that I just can’t bring myself to do – like making the girls’ meals. Thanks for being a trooper, babe.

Now that you know how great I have felt the past 9 weeks, let’s talk about the lovely PLACES I have gotten sick. This is a running joke with other ladies on my mom boards – might as well make light of it all.

**Warning** TMI ALERT

Since the nausea is my bestie, and does not discriminate, I have had some not-so-pleasant encounters with it. Here are some of the fun places I’ve puked this pregnancy:

  • My driveway
  • My kitchen sink (multiple times)
  • IN MY CAR. It got on the windshield and steering wheel. I had to clean it up with YOGA PANTS. Which I then threw directly into the trash at work.
  • Speaking of work….in a trash can at work. In my office and in a hallway. I like to think the college kids thought I was hungover….
  • ON MY CAR. Rolled the window down and let it out. Then it froze to the side of my door. Lovely.
  • Target bathroom
  • Every bathroom in my house

Nothing is off limits. I just count my blessings that on most occasions, no one saw me.

So, now you are probably thinking to yourself, “girl, take some meds!” Trust me when I say, I have tried it all (if I haven’t please send recommendations. SOS.). While nothing seems to be helping me that much, the least I can do is share some of the remedies I have tried. Below are some of the pregnancy nausea tips and tricks that might just help YOU kick that nausea to the curb.

  1. Ginger – Ginger teach, ginger drops, ginger ale. Ginger root is well known for its anti-nausea properties.                                                                 IMG_3897
  2. Tea with honey/lemon
  3. Saltine crackers – If you eat these first thing in the morning, before you even sit up, it does tend to take the edge up. I just can never remember!
  4. Sea Bands – These helped me a bit during my first pregnancy. I borrowed from a friend. I never tried them this time around…perhaps that is where I am striking out?                                                                     seabands
  5. Mint
  6. Vitamin B6
  7. Tums
  8. Preggy Pops Drops – These were a lifesaver for a few weeks. Then I got sick of the taste.                                                            preggypops
  9. Carbs on carbs on carbs – seems to be the only thing I can keep down lately! French fries, mashed potatoes, waffles, pretzels. At least I’m eating…right? Also, check out this new study on carbs + healthy baby!
  10. Keep hydrated – Even though water tastes funky these days, I still try to get upwards of 90 oz a day.
  11. Snacking throughout the day – I will say, if I let baby get hungry, the nausea comes at me full force. So I try to have a small snack every couple of hours.
  12. Prescription medication – My OB prescribed me both Diclegis and Phenergan for my nausea this pregnancy. Both make me SUPER sleepy, but did help out for a couple weeks. So never hesitate to ask your doctor for some help, I know some women who swear by these meds!

 

I seek comfort in the fact that so many say “morning sickness means a healthy baby”. So I am definitely holding on to that, and trying to take it one day at a time. With the twins I felt better around 13-15 weeks. So I have high hopes for the second trimester! Until then……

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Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t

Over the past 15+ months, I have done some pretty nutty things while trying to conceive. Unfortunately for me, none of them have worked (yet) but I have heard some amazing success stories about most of them. When you are facing infertility, you will do anything (ANYTHING) short of making a deal with the devil (I don’t recommend that) to get pregnant. Each time you see that negative test you think “what could I have done differently?” The list below outlines some of the crazy (and not so crazy) things I have done in the name of TTC. The truth is, it can’t hurt to try them, as none of them are dangerous. If you find yourself struggling to conceive and are in need of control and the feeling of being proactive like me, give one these the old college try!

1. Pineapple Core

Yes, that’s right. The CORE of the pineapple. The part we usually all throw away. It is very fibrous and chewy, and it definitely doesn’t taste GREAT, but it isn’t all that bad. The theory behind this is that pineapple core contains bromelain, which has been said to aid in implantation. Just cute a pineapple into five equal parts (remove the outside, of course) and eat one slice per day starting the day after ovulation (1 DPO). The core is the most important part, so make sure you eat that. You can toss the rest if you aren’t a huge pineapple fan. I have also heard of some ladies blending the core in with their smoothies. If you really don’t like the taste, you can by bromelain capsules!

2. Hips/Legs Up

I’m sure we have all tried this one once or twice! I always laid down after intercourse for 15-20 minutes to hold the swimmers in place. Several people told me to try elevating my hips (I put a couple pillows underneath) or putting my legs up on the wall. I even went so far as to roll on my back and hold my hips up with my legs straight up in the air. This was not comfortable.

3. Grapefruit Juice

This stuff is nasty, but it really helps with cervical mucus! Around ovulation your cervical mucus (CM) should be of “egg white” consistency, slippery and stretchy (this helps the sperm travel to the egg). Well mine never was. Until I found out about the grapefruit juice trick. I drank a glass a day from CD1 to ovulation and my CM was never stretchier! Be careful though, grapefruit is known to have interactions with several medication, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to trying this one out.

4. Mucinex/Robitussin

These medications are used for the same purpose as grapefruit juice – to thin out and increase CM. Be sure to get the kind that has guaifenesin as the only active ingredient (not Mucinex DM!), other active ingredients can have the opposite effect. I took this for the 4-5 days prior to anticipated ovulation and quit as soon as ovulation was confirmed. This didn’t work as well as the grapefruit juice for me.

5. Chiropractor

I visited a chiropractor for a couple of month to see if he could “adjust” my uterus to optimal baby making status. They also do a lot of work with the nervous system that can help to regulate certain processes that are essential to TTC. While I loved having my back cracked and finding out my hips are lopsided, I don’t really think this did much for me. But then again I didn’t really stick with it too long to find out. The appointments began to be too much especially with all of the infertility/gyno appointments I was having.

6. Pre-Seed

If you love lube then you will love this sperm-friendly product! This genius substance is meant to mimic that coveted “egg white CM” so if you don’t make it, no problem! It can also be used as just a regular lube. Apply some directly into the VAJJ prior to sexy time and you are all set. The product can be found at most drugstores (que Target trip) and comes with a few applicators. I do not advise that you use the recommended dose, that was way too much and way too messy. Start small and add more if needed. I used this starting 5 days before ovulation, through a day or two after O. Visit www.preseed.com for more info!

7. Softcups

This was one of my crazier remedies. Softcups are women’s menstrual cups, used to collect your flow during your period. Softcups are a flexible little cup inserted into your vagina and around the cervix. They are nice because they can be kept in for 12 hours with little to no leakage and it is not linked to TSS. I tried them for my period, and actually liked them. But the REAL reason I used these bad boys was to “hold the swimmer near my cervix”. I knew I had a very small cervix (the passage way from the vagina to the uterus) and I thought if I could just keep those little guys near the door they would have to get in eventually! After sex I would basically (while still laying down) insert the cup while scooping in the semen (I know how gross this sounds!!) and voila – no mess and I could walk around for hours just knowing they still had a fighting chance.

Warning: the first time I used these I almost couldn’t get it out. I suggest practicing once or twice, because the retrieval process is very strange. Follow the instructions to the T!

8. CoQ10

AKA Co-Enzyme Q10. This is an antioxidant naturally found in the body, but production decreases with age (peak production is around 21 years old, and then slowly declines after that). CoQ10 is said to be great for improving egg quality and egg health, and maybe even sperm motility and quality! I take 100mg, twice daily. Nick takes the same.

9. Acupuncture

For the past three months, I have been getting acupuncture on a weekly basis. Not only do I find it extremely relaxing, the placement of the needles can help to increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, among other things. It is also said to help treat PCOS and thyroid disorders. Here is a short article for more insight into acupuncture for infertility.

10. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Another natural infertility remedy that I have been incorporating into my diet is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. I try to drink a cup of this a day, but only prior to ovulation (I do not use after ovulation because the tea is also used in late pregnancy to help induce labor, and I don’t want any uterine contractions keeping that egg from sticking). The tea can be used to help with the following: recurrent miscarriage, heavy menstrual bleeding, poor egg quality, uterine trauma, and for general female reproductive health. I use the Alvita brand and usually order online because the last time I tried to purchase at the Vitamin Shoppe they were sold out (and they did not carry it at my local GNC) – everyone must be jumping on the bandwagon!

11. Rooster Under the Bed

This is the newest bit of crazy I am trying out. My hairdresser told us of an old wives tail that states “if you sleep with a rooster under your bed you will fall pregnant”. One of her coworkers tried it and it actually worked! As far as I know, this does not have to be a real rooster, so my mother bought me a cheap vintage rooster at the antique store this past weekend (only $4.00!) and it has been under my bed since then. I guess we will have to wait and see if there is any truth to this!

rooster

 

In addition to the above, I have also taken to touching every elephant statue or image I see for good luck. I also plan to eat Brazil nuts around implantation time this round as well. I am sure there are several other things I have tried, but these seemed to be the most interesting – and I do believe some of them actually helped, even if I didn’t get that positive! Good luck fellow TTCers, I hope one of these is your miracle solution!

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